A wolf came to terrorize the town of Gubbio, in central Italy around the year 1220. Starting by attacking livestock, the wolf began attacking and killing human prey. In the legend, it was as if Gubbio was under siege by an enemy army. St. Francis of Assisi happened to be living in the town, and resolved to stop the wolf. Francis went out from the city gates, with townspeople fully expecting him to be the wolf’s next meal. Francis encountered the snarling wolf, and made the sign of the cross. The subdued wolf came submissively to Francis, who lectured the wolf about its bad behavior. Francis then made a deal with the wolf: if the wolf ceased its depredations, the residents of Gubbio would feed the wolf every day. The legend has it that the deal was kept. The story is one of the best about St. Francis. Were there wolves in Italy in the 1200s? Yes. Did those wolves kill and eat people? Yes. Did Francis really tame a man eater and get it to see the error of its ways? It’s a lovely story, so it’s best to leave it at that.